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18 Performances That Prove Cate Blanchett Is The Most Versatile Actor Of Her Generation

List RulesVote up the best performances that prove Cate Blanchett's rare versatility.

Some famous actresses have a career driven by their unique looks, while others use their skill at performing to play believable supporting characters. Only a few are just as stunning to look at as they are capable of handling just about any part you throw at them.

And then there’s Cate Blanchett, who's just as convincing as a regal matriarch as she is as someone you might meet pushing a cart at the supermarket. From Elvish queen to crooked housewife to the Goddess of Death, here are the roles that prove just how incredibly versatile she is. Remember to vote up your favorite Blanchett roles.

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  • When your agent calls and asks if you want to be an elf, you probably hope it's not a Christmas gig at the local mall. And it's unlikely that you'd expect it to be as grand of an undertaking as Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Playing the pointy-eared Queen Galadriel, Blanchett is both luminous and terrifying as the grand Lady of Lothlórien. Her powerful performance was one of the most memorable in the film series, and gave her an entire new army of Hobbit- and dragon-loving fans.

    Blanchett loved being a part of the project so much that she even asked Jackson if she could be made up to look like a Dwarf and appear in a cameo. Sadly, this did not come to pass, but she does have the distinction of being one of the only actors to appear in every installment of both the LOTR and The Hobbit movies.

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  • It wasn’t easy in 1950s America for a woman to fall in love with another woman. In Todd Haynes's Carol, set in New York City in 1952, Cate Blanchett plays Carol Aird, who is going through an unpleasant divorce and comes to realize she prefers the company of a photographer named Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara).

    Her method for preparing for the role was to "read a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period," which appears to have worked, as the movie received a 10-minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. When it was outrageously omitted from Best Picture consideration, it was described by Nate Scott of USA Today as "the standout snub."

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  • The 2006 drama Babel, written by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, is the last in the pair’s "Death Trilogy" and tells four different stories that share themes on the perils of miscommunication and the interconnectedness of all people.

    Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt appear in one narrative as a couple traveling in Morocco; their vacation goes awry when she gets shot by a couple of reckless local kids. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, though Blanchett was not among the nominees.

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  • The role that cemented Blanchett's reputation as "Australia’s Meryl Streep" was Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1998's Elizabeth. Instantly propelling its lead actress to international stardom, the film resulted in her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress and pretty much secured her choice of future movie scripts. It also was successful enough to merit a sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which wasn’t quite as good.

    No matter, as audiences and Hollywood bigwigs were officially and fully aware of Blanchett’s radiance and wide range of skills in front of the camera. Lucky for us, director Shekhar Kapur chose to go with an unknown instead of listening to the studio's demand that he hire an established star.

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